Becht Engineering Blog

In this section of the site contributing authors submit interesting articles relating to the various services, industries and research & development efforts of Becht Engineering.

Discussions on events, projects and activities with a nuclear flavor.

How to Resolve an Engineering Manager's Typical Dilemma - “Where to Start”

confused_engineer Where Do I Start?
The Problem Too often, the inability to get the required work done correctly, and on-time, has been blamed on too few people, not enough of the right people, or situations that were not anticipated.  Dr. Louis T. Rader's comments, about engineering management, are still applicable to many managers today.  In 1964, he noted that: "The apparent shortages of engineering talent actually can be traced to a shortage of effective engineering management.  A poor manager wastes engineering talent.  When jobs are well planned and directed, and the work is rigidly oriented to a realistic budget, the professional dignity and capabilities of each engineer working in such an environment are markedly enhanced (Ref. 1).  It is amazing that after 55 years, this situation is still pervasive. However, good leadership is frequently attributed to the person who takes charge and takes immediate action to get the job done.  Without proper planning, this often results...
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Operability And Fitness-for-Service (FFS) Of ASME Equipment In Nuclear Power Plants

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Bringing Order and Logic to the Evaluation Process There is a multitude of documents and reports that describe the damage mechanisms of ASME pressure equipment (vessels, pumps, valves, piping, and tanks, and their supports) in nuclear power plants. Thousands of pages published by EPRI, the NRC, ASME, NACE, research laboratories, utilities, contractors, and others, to read, study, and understand. The plant engineer must understand these thousands of pages of damage mechanisms, first to take the right preventive measures, and second, when the damage occurs despite our best efforts, to correctly diagnose the remaining life of the equipment, i.e. determine its fitness-for-service, its operability. In December 2018, EPRI published “Roadmap to Integrity Evaluation and Repair of Nuclear Plant Piping” EPRI report number 3002013156, to help the plant engineer navigate through the technical and regulatory complexities of damage mechanisms and the methods for the evaluation of remaining life. This is an important step...
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Evaluation of Degraded and Nonconforming Conditions For ASME III and B31.1 and B31.7 Class 2 and Class 3 Pressure Boundary Nuclear Plant Components

Figure1-options_evaluating_wall-thinning
1.   Definitions 1.1    Degraded Condition A degraded condition as defined in NRC Inspection Manual 0326 Paragraph 03.02: “A degraded condition is one in which the qualification of an SSC or its functional capability is reduced. Examples of degraded conditions are failures, malfunctions, deficiencies, deviations, and defective material and equipment. Examples of conditions that can reduce the capability of a system are aging, erosion, corrosion, improper operation, and maintenance.” 1.2    Nonconforming Condition A nonconforming condition as defined in US NRC Inspection Manual 0326 Paragraph 03.06: “ A nonconforming condition is a condition of an SSC that involves a failure to meet the CLB or a situation in which quality has been reduced because of factors such as improper design, testing, construction, or modification. The following are examples of nonconforming conditions: An SSC fails to conform to one or more applicable codes or standards (e.g., the CFR, operating license, TSs, UFSAR, and/or licensee...
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EPRI Publishes "Roadmap to Integrity Evaluation and Repair of Nuclear Plant Piping"

epri-logo
EPRI has just published the report “Roadmap to Integrity Evaluation and Repair of Nuclear Plant Piping” EPRI report number 3002013156, dated December 2018, prepared by Becht Nuclear Services, under EPRI Project Manager T. Eckert. The methods and criteria for the evaluation of degraded and non-conforming conditions in piping systems in nuclear power plants are dispersed among a number of ASME XI Code sections, Appendices, Code Cases, and US NRC regulatory requirements, generic letters, and inspection manual sections. This multitude of requirements makes it necessary to have this roadmap to help the engineer make the right fitness-for-service evaluation and the right repair decision. The EPRI road map addresses the fitness-for-service evaluation methods and criteria for the two most common damage mechanisms in nuclear power plant piping systems: Wall thinning, and cracking. The roadmap also addresses non-conformance caused by overloads, i.e. operating loads that exceed the design loads. Regarding repairs of nuclear plant...
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